Google Fiber, the tech giant’s expensive, ambitious effort to make all other cable companies look bad by hooking American consumers on internet access capable of reaching speeds of up to a gigabyte per second, might be hitting some slowdowns of its own. The Information is reporting that Google co-founder Larry Page—who’s now the CEO of Alphabet, the parent company developed to operate the company’s holdings in 2015—has ordered the provider to cut its staff in half, from 1000 employees to 500.
Google Fiber launched as a sort of test case in Kansas City in 2011, earning the locale its beloved nickname, “The Fastest Pornography Downloads West Of The Mississippi.” The service provides high-speed internet for $70 a month alongside a TV bundle, and free internet access for people in low-income neighborhoods. As the name suggests, the service hits its advertised velocity by stringing fiber optic cables throughout its target markets; supposedly, it costs as much as a billion dollars for the company to wire up a single American city. (The company reportedly snatched up wireless-focused internet provider Webpass two months ago as a means to work out a lower-cost solution.)
Google Fiber is currently available in Kansas City, Austin, San Antonio, and Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah. Numerous other markets have been floated—including Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Portland—but it remains to be seen what this latest slate of firings means for the company’s dreams of near-instantaneous communication and pictures of people without their clothes.